Sports Memorabilia Fraud

How to Avoid Being Scammed

  1. As with any other business transaction, check out who you are dealing with.
  2. Don’t trust the authenticity of an item based on a photograph of the athlete signing. Many times these images are stolen or stock photography, rather than an actual photo of the player signing the collectible.
  3. Compare prices of similar signed memorabilia to avoid buying forgeries. If an autograph is valuable and being sold at an extreme discount, it’s likely that the item is fraud. Remember, a little common sense goes a long way!

Scheme Information

Sports Memorabilia Fraud

Sports Memorabilia Fraud

Carl Myer sold baseball memorabilia with forged autographs to 56 victims at a cost of more than $74-thousand dollars. He was prosecuted and ordered to serve a two-year prison sentence and pay more than $65-thousand dollars in restitution.


Threatening Letter Scam

Myer advertised rare items that almost everyone would be interested in obtaining for their collections.


Threatening Letter Scam

After discovering the signatures were forged, the victims could not return the items for a refund.


Collecting baseball cards is an American pastime just like the game itself. But sports memorabilia has expanded well beyond cards and has become a big business. The market for genuine vintage memorabilia has changed dramatically over the last few decades. From a market that consisted of a very limited supply of genuine articles, it is now flooded with tens of thousands of vintage items (including bats, balls, jerseys, helmets, pictures, magazines, posters, lithographs, record albums, and other items), many of which are simply counterfeit.

Authentic autographed sports memorabilia makes for a unique collection and a valuable investment; but, with the number of online sports collectibles stores and sports memorabilia auctions, it’s often difficult to find a retailer you can trust within an industry that is plagued by fraudulent sellers. The best way to avoid purchasing a counterfeit or an item with a forged signature is through education.

When selecting a retailer, thorough research is vital for buying authentic sports collectibles. Be sure to read through previous customer reviews for testimonies that suggest an honorable reputation for selling quality memorabilia. Review the seller’s authenticity guarantee in order to know what to expect if any problems arise with your purchase. Reputable retailers offer a full money back guarantee if a customer runs into any authenticity issues; fraudsters are quick to question and refuse a refund. One of the best ways to avoid purchasing forged autographed collectibles is by purchasing an item that is fully certified authentic by a third-party authenticator. If you feel you’ve been a victim of a fraud through the mail, contact the Postal Inspectors.